NBC Settles Dateline Predator Lawsuit Over Prosecutor’s Death

After a stinging opinion by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in February, NBC has thrown in the towel on its defense of “Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator” in the suicide of a former prosecutor. Louis William Conradt Jr. shot himself after the program accused him of engaging in sexually explicit chats with an adult posing as a child. The program then allegedly pushed for his arrest when he failed to show up at a sting operation.

Conradt’s suicide raised a recurring question over the liability of reality based television shows and talk shows for violence or suicide. For a prior column, click here.

NBC employees swarmed over his house to confront him and pushed for his arrest. Notably, the lawsuit said that a police officer at the scene of the shooting told a Dateline producer: “That’ll make good TV.”

click here.

In February, Judge Chin found that a jury could find that NBC “crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.”

The Supreme Court has taken a harsh view of police coordinating with reality shows that result in unreasonable searches or accidents,

For the full story, click here.

8 thoughts on “NBC Settles Dateline Predator Lawsuit Over Prosecutor’s Death”

  1. Granted Child Predators should be locked up and taken off the streets. However the way NBC ,Police and Perverted Justice are doing it is nothing more than criminal itself, and the producers and police involved should be arrested. Especially the little hussies who seemngly get a kick out of playing the role of underage children and lure the predators in like its a game of cards….tottaly disgusting…..NBC should be ashamed to be involved in this game!

  2. I think “to catch a predator” is totally wrong. I know that these grown men are wrong, and everyone is reasponsible for their actions, But this is a setup. Children should not use computers unless supervised by parents. These men believe they are communicating with children, yet they are 18+ decoys, so all the get is attemp and a slap on the wrist. So are you making a difference or teaching these grown men to just be more carful next time?

  3. Mike,

    If it’s any consolation, I agree with most of what you say as well, but from a more Bugliosi type Democratic point of view.

    Actually, I don’t care what side of the aisle I happen to be aligned with when some other side happens to ignore principle in achieving their goals. More on that later.

    BTW, I think these ‘interesting times’ are slipping quickly into the age of Japanese Game Shows.

    Perhaps one day, to borrow a phrase from a Roger Waters album and the book by the same name, we’ll “Amuse Ourselves to Death.”



  4. Bob,
    You read my mind since Cops is one of the shows I was thinking about. I watched one show many years ago with my wife and she insisted I turn it off because she couldn’t stand my ranting at what I was seeing. She was also probably worried that it would give me a stroke from apoplexy. It is a vile, racist show that glorifies all the worst there is in police work. I’ve known many real cops in my time and while most of them were good people, the isolation of the “cop culture” skewed their outlook on humanity.

    As for the “bread and circuses” I think it aptly describes our times.
    Are we much different than the empire Gibbon describes, except that we may be declining at a more rapid rate? I’ve read your stuff and feel that except for minor details we agree on the issues and both strive to remain optimistic in these “interesting times.”


  5. Michael,

    Well said.

    So, I take it you’re not a fan of that lovely 20-season old show called “Cops.” (kidding)

    Although, the way you put it, it seems we’re living the modern era of Gladiators, Bread & Circuses.



  6. Bob,
    Sadly it does and praise the Lord! Having watched the first 15 minutes of one of the predator shows I was appalled by its’ existence.
    It was classic entrapment made into a TV series, with the assistance of the criminal authorities. Having raised two children the thought of sexual predation repels me. Nevertheless making this a media spectacle not only offers no solution to the problem, it makes the fruit of it suspect and undermines its legality.

    I’ve never watched the prison shows and in fact I never watch movies about prison in general. The horrors of the prison system are all too easily imagined for me to need any graphic displays. I’ve noticed on my cable guides though that these shows proliferate and I can’t imagine why a segment of the public finds them so interesting. My only guess is that they appeal to people who vicariously enjoy sadism, which brings us full circle.

  7. Does this mean when I leave the television on after Olberman I won’t hear re-run after re-run of “Predator Raw” & “Locked up; San Quentin” et al?

  8. JT:

    Is the Feb. 2008 ruling overruling NBC’s Motion to Dismiss available? I cannot locate it on the web and I was interested in Judge Chin’s decision that a jury could hold NBC liable for creating a substantial risk of the decedent’s suicide. I have not tried PACER yet however.

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